If I wrecked the autobody shop’s loaner car, how long can they hold on to mine for which repairs have been paid for in full for 30 days now?

UPDATED: Dec 29, 2011

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UPDATED: Dec 29, 2011Fact Checked

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If I wrecked the autobody shop’s loaner car, how long can they hold on to mine for which repairs have been paid for in full for 30 days now?

An autobody shop was fixing my car while I was in an accident with their loaner. I have paid for all of the repairs for my car and they are holding on to my car until the insurance coverage is figured out. They have had my car now for a month fully paid off. Can they legally do that? How do I get my car back if they can’t hold on to it?

Asked on December 29, 2011 under Accident Law, New Mexico


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you damaged the loaner car while you had it in your possession while your own vehicle was being worked on, the auto repair shop cannot legally hold onto your vehicle if you paid for its repairs in full as leverage concerning damages that happened to the loaner.

In order to get your vehicle back, make sure you first get a receipt from the auto body shop stating that your bill has been paid in full for your vehicle. Once you have that in hand, ask for your keys so you can take your vehicle home. If the auto body shop refuses to return your vehicle to you, advise its representative that it cannot refuse to return your vehicle.

If the representative still refuses to return your vehicle, consult with an attorney who practices auto law as to what course needs to be done to get the return of your vehicle.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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